Kathryn Loretta (Giddens) Alexander was born Kathryn Loretta Riley in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1942. She and her family moved to Lebanon when she was a small child and her last name was changed to Giddens. Her parents built their own family homestead where Kathryn and her brothers and sisters were raised. Kathryn was an outgoing and hardworking child; she picked berries over the summer to buy her own school clothes and sewed her own dress when she was elected prom queen of Lebanon High School. After graduating high school in 1960, Kathryn continued to pursue her lifelong passion for learning. She earned her Bachelor of Science and teaching certification from the Oregon College of Education, and her Master of Science in Education from Western Oregon University. Kathryn’s master’s thesis, Education in the Digital Revolution, was a bold and innovative discussion about the changing world of education in our technical times that earned her top accolades.
In addition to advocating for and modeling the importance of education, Kathryn also had an eclectic and adventurous professional life. Kathryn performed as a voice over artist for television and radio, acted as a stand-in and extra for television and movies, directed Oregon State University’s student radio and television stations, worked for Parade magazine in Los Angeles, assisted companies with sales and bookkeeping, authored books on diet and nutrition, and shared with students of all ages her love of literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, among other accomplishments. Kathryn’s eagerness to share her fire for the richness of life touched all those who had the privilege to know her.
Kathryn’s passion did not stop with education and her professions, though. She was a constant and rich writer and researcher, knowledgeable about Tibetan Buddhism and diverse philosophical inquiries, and a fabulous and prolific cook. Her approach to the science and artistry of breadmaking epitomized her ability to harmonize seemingly disparate things.
Kathryn is survived and missed by her three children (ie: the Three Musketeers), Michael Wigle, Krista Wigle, and Rachele Selvig, and by her three grandchildren, Ava Selvig, Brayden Wigle, and Nadine Selvig. She is also survived and missed by her siblings Richard, Mary Ann, Billie, Roger, Scott, Tina, Brett. and Michel. Her sister Merita predeceased her. Kathryn passed away in Lebanon on March 7, 2018, surrounded by her family. All of them know she has moved on to more wonderful and exciting adventures, and their hearts are following her.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Huston-Jost Funeral Home, 86 W Grant St, Lebanon. All of Kathryn’s friends and family who wish to celebrate Kathryn and her life are welcome.